The Rural Evangelism network is pleased to support HOPE14. We would like to populate this section with ideas and resources. We invite our members to contribute the this section please.
Here are some ideas and a link to be going on with.
Working with rural communities - things to think about
For some rural congregations, especially small ones, mission can seem like an impossible task, or one that needs to be done by someone else, but it is not. Everyone has some skill or gift that they can contribute to making a difference for the Kingdom of God as effective mission in the countryside is based around the whole community. So what can you do?
Some things to think about first.
What do you already do that can be extended or developed further?
Do you run a regular coffee morning or lunch club, a social evening or other special event? Who is it for, can the invitation be extended more widely? Can they be used as an opportunity to reach out to people who are isolated or who have no contact with the church? Have you thought of creating an opportunity for people to talk and ask for prayer as part of the event?
What is already being done in the community that you can join in with?
Are there other organisations present in the community that need help and volunteers? Consider if local schools, uniformed organisations for children and young people, the youth club, sports club or pensioners group needs volunteers.
Make use of existing contacts and relationships?
Many people in a community are involved in more than one activity in that place so that each person is at the centre of a web connecting lots of different people. These networks of contacts and friendships are lifelines for communication of information, hope and love. Local organisations can be where church members work out their response to Christ’s call, making a difference through words and actions.
Pray for the community regularly?
Do you pray regularly for your community, its people, groups, businesses and activities? Make a list to be used regularly in public and private prayer. Can you organize a special service to celebrate the work of different groups and activities?